Sipho Mabena

By Sipho Mabena

Premium Journalist

Minister commends swift arrests in University killings

Transport manager was killed in March last year and bodyguard of the university’s Vice Chancellor was gunned down in January.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande has commended the swift arrest and commencement of the court case against five men accused of killing the University of Fort Hare staffers.

Transport manager Petrus Roets was killed in a suspected hit in March last year and bodyguard of the university’s Vice Chancellor, Mboneli Vesele was gunned down on 6 January this year.

The minister expressed gratitude to law enforcement agencies for ensuring that the perpetrators of these killings were being arrested and will face the full might of the law.

Nzimande said in January, during the stakeholder consultations at the University of Fort Hare, that the attacks on Roets and Vesele was not only an attack on the University only, but also an attack on the entire Post School Education and Training sector.

Police worked tirelessly

“I further said that the law enforcement agencies will apprehend those who were responsible. Yesterday’s appearance in court of these five accused perpetrators is testament that the police worked tirelessly to bring the culprits to book,” said Minister Nzimande.

The five suspects, Bongani Peter, Sicelo Mbulawa, Wanini Khuza, Mthobisi Khanyile and Mthobisi Dlamini/Zondo appeared in the Alice Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape last Tuesday on multiple charges of murder and attempted murder.

ALSO READ: Fort Hare University murders: Case against five accused postponed

The matter has been postponed to 4 May 2023.

Minister Nzimande further said that he was looking forward to the arrest of other perpetrators who might have worked with those already arrested in the killing of both Roets and Velese.


“I hope this case will also serve as an example to deter those within our Post School Education and Training sector and society in general that crime and corruption is punishable by law and that both are an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies,” he said

The minister said he and department officials remained determined to fight against any acts of corruption, maladministration and institutional capture everywhere where it occurs in all higher education institutions, including at the University of Fort Hare.

“This includes putting appropriate safety and security measures to protect both our employees and staff,” emphasised Minister Nzimande.

The minister is planning to have a follow up meeting with the university of Fort Hare Council and also visit Vesele’s widow and children.

Nzimande also welcomed the arrest of eight people in connection with maladministration, fraud and collusion involving millions of rands, committed at the South Cape TVET College.

The suspects appeared in the George Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

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